Donald R. McClarey
At The American Catholic we are dedicated to giving you up to date news on the election campaign. Thus we have this report from Acts of the Apostasy:
(AoftheANews) NEW YORK – The guardian angel for Democrat Vice-Presidential candidate Tim Kaine told AoftheA News that he is quitting the Clinton campaign, and has announced his endorsement of Donald Trump.
“I’ve had it with him. Completely had it,” the angelic messenger said, relentlessly puffing on a Marlboro. “I haven’t slept in days. He’s driving me nuts. His comments on so-called same-sex marriage over the weekend were the final straw. He really thinks the Church will someday change its position. Sure, he was taught by Jesuits, but he oughtta know better.”
The bedraggled, unshaven divine host of heaven went on. “I probably should have done this when Hillary selected him, but I had hope, you know? Turns out I was just fooling myself.”
He explained that his endorsement of Trump was merely an attempt to get Kaine’s attention. “I’m hoping it’s a wake-up call,” he said, pouring himself a glass of Jack Daniels. “Shock him a bit. Once he hears I want to ‘make America great again’, he’ll come to his senses. Maybe. I’m so beyond frustrated.” Continue reading
Our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear advised us yesterday that today is talk like a bear day. The above video is my contribution.
Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa speculates on how great a disaster Assisi II will be:
ROME, September 18, 2016 – The memorable encounter in Assisi, thirty years ago, between John Paul II and men of all religions (see photo) was perhaps the only moment of disagreement between the holy Polish pope and his absolutely trusted chief of doctrine at the time, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who didn’t even go.
Ratzinger himself recalls this in his book-length interview published in recent days: “He knew,” he says, “that I was following a different approach.”
But now that Pope Francis, the successor to both, is preparing to replicate that event in Assisi on September 20, the contrast is reemerging even stronger than before.
A dialogue among the religions on an equal footing – Ratzinger has in fact warned even after his resignation of the papacy – would be “lethal for the Christian faith.” Because every religion “would be reduced to an interchangeable symbol” of a God assumed to be equal for all:
Naturally Jorge Mario Bergoglio does not identify with this kind of egalitarian dialogue, nor has he ever thought that the Catholic Church should give up preaching the Gospel to every creature.
But some of his actions and words have effectively bolstered such tendencies, starting with his definition of proselytism as “solemn foolishness,” without ever saying how this is to be distinguished from genuine mission. There are no few missionaries on the frontiers, having spent a lifetime preaching and baptizing, who now feel betrayed in the name of a dialogue that makes almost any conversion useless.
Also with other Christians, Protestant and Orthodox, Francis moves at a different pace compared to his predecessors.
While for example Benedict XVI encouraged and facilitated the return to the Catholic Church of Anglicans in disagreement with the “liberal” pivot of their Church, Francis does not, he prefers that they keep to their own home, as revealed by two Anglican bishops who are his friends, Gregory Venables and Tony Palmer, whom he discouraged from becoming Catholic:
But it has been above all a brief video from January of this year, released on a large scale in ten languages, that has most given the idea of a surrender to syncretism, to the equating of all the religions:
In it, Francis urges prayer together with men of every faith, for the love of peace. And along with him, in fact, appear a Buddhist, a Jew, a Muslim, with their respective symbols, all on equal terms. The pope says: “Many seek God and find God in different ways. In this broad spectrum of religions there is only one certainty for us: we are all children of God.”
Nice words, but in effect not in keeping with those of the New Testament and in particular of the Gospel of John, according to which all men are creatures of God, but the only ones who become his “children” are those who believe in Jesus Christ.
In Assisi, on September 20, Francis will again find himself beside Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, and still others. And it is likely that his speech will be more circumspect than in the video.
But there is an impact of the images that will be difficult to contain and rationalize. It is that which has been extolled by many since 1986 as the “spirit of Assisi,” a formula that Ratzinger always sought in vain to defuse, as cardinal and pope, so that it would be taken in a manner opposite to how so many understand it, meaning not in the “syncretistic” and “relativistic” sense: Continue reading
To all pirates I have but one thing to say: amateurs.
Donald R. McClarey
Aye Maties, tis Speak Like a Pirate Day again!
Pirate Gettysburg Address
Ar, it be about four score and seven years ago since our fathers made ye new nation, a liberty port for all hands from end to end, and dedicated t’ t’ truth that all swabs be created equal.
Now we be fightin’ a great ruckus, testin’ whether ye nation, or any nation so minted like it, can last through the long watch. We be met on a great boardin’ fight o’ that war. We have come t’ dedicate a spot o’ that field, as a final restin’ place for those who here swallowed the anchor forever that that nation might live. It be altogether fittin’ and proper that we be doin’ this.
But, truth be told, we can not set aside, we can not pray over, we can not hallow this ground. T’ brave swabs, livin’ and went t’ Davy Jones’ locker, who fit here, have blessed it, far over our poor power t’ add or swipe back. T’ world won’t writ what we say here, but it can never forget what those swabs did here. It be for us t’ livin’, rather, t’ be dedicated here t’ finishin’ t’ work which they who fit here have begun. It be rather for us t’ be here dedicated t’ t’ great chore remainin’ before us—that from these honored swabs we take increased love t’ what they died for—that we here Bible swear that these shipmates shall not have went t’ Davy Jones’ locker for nothin’—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth o’ freedom—and that government o’ t’ crew, by t’ crew, for t’ crew, shall not perish from t’ seven seas. Continue reading
Today is the 220th anniversary of the farewell address of George Washington being published throughout the United States as an open letter to the American people. Fortunate indeed were we to have such a man as the Father of our nation. Without him to lead us to victory in the Revolution there would be no United States of America today. On re-reading his Farewell Address, I think some of the matters he touches upon are extremely relevant today:
1. Religion–Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connexions with private and public felicity.
It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?
2. Centralized Power–It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution in those entrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism.
3. Partisanship–There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.
4. Government Debt–As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it, avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertion in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear. The execution of these maxims belongs to your representatives, but it is necessary that public opinion should co-operate. To facilitate to them the performance of their duty, it is essential that you should practically bear in mind that towards the payment of debts there must be revenue; that to have revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant; that the intrinsic embarrassment, inseparable from the selection of the proper objects (which is always a choice of difficulties), ought to be a decisive motive for a candid construction of the conduct of the government in making it, and for a spirit of acquiescence in the measures for obtaining revenue, which the public exigencies may at any time dictate.
5. Honesty as Policy-. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy.
6. Foreign Policy– If we remain one people under an efficient government. the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.
In retiring from the public scene Washington made this closing observation: Though, in reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. An attitude of humility for us all to remember when we contend in the Public Square.
Here is the entire text of the Farewell Address: Continue reading
- Oh would some power the gift give us, To see ourselves as others see us.
- Robert Burns
Dwight is having its annual Harvest Days this weekend, and at a quarter to one the parade will be passing our house. The unique feature of the parade is the great Dwight Basset Waddle. You have not truly lived until you have seen a thousand bassets waddling down the street! We will be observing it all from the comfort of our porch with our Jack Russell Terrier Cali, who will no doubt be sending out copious greetings to her cousins! Go here to read about this event which captures the charm, and occasional goofiness, of my beloved village!
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
– Hamlet (1.5.167-8)
I am always amused when secularists contend that by definition there can be no miracles. History is replete with well documented cases of them. For example, Saint Joseph of Cupertino lived in the full glare of history from June 17, 1603 to September 18, 1663. Born to a widowed mother so poor that, like Christ, he was born in a stable, he was a Conventual Franciscan Friar. Although poor at his studies he was ordained to the priesthood largely due to the ecstasy he experienced before the Eucharist, and his manifest good nature and simplicity. Joseph spent most of his life in religious ecstatic states and during these states he would sometimes fly. We have accounts of hundreds of witnesses to his flights including a Spanish ambassador and his wife and Pope Urban VIII. That Joseph of Cupertino flew is as well attested as an historical fact can be prior to photography and film. Investigated by the Inquisition at one point, he alarmed his judges by falling into an ecstatic state and levitating. Go here to read about the enormous contemporary documentation describing his flights.
Canonized in 1753, Saint Joseph is the patron saint of weak students, pilots, those who travel by air, and the learning disabled. I would suggest that he might also be made a helper to Saint Thomas as the patron saint of skeptics! Continue reading
Once one understands that Hillary Clinton is a transparent crook, this is not surprising:
An elderly woman who donated to the Hillary Clinton campaign says she was charged multiple times after she stipulated she would only be making a one-time donation, according to a report from the New York Observer.*
Carol Mahre, an 81-year-old grandmother from Minnesota who has voted Democratic since Eisenhower’s re-election in 1956, said she wanted to make a one-time donation of $25 to Clinton’s campaign. But when she received her U.S. Bank statement, she noticed that multiple charges of $25 (and one for $19) were made to her account from the Clinton campaign.
Mahre said she wanted to make only a one-time donation. Her son, Roger, agreed to help her get her money back, as she could not afford the multiple donations.
“It took me at least 40 to 50 phone calls to the campaign office before I finally got ahold of someone,” Roger told NBC affiliate Kare11, which first investigated Mahre’s story. “After I got a campaign worker on the phone, she said they would stop making the charges.”
But the charges didn’t stop. Roger said his mother is “very good with the Internet,” and doesn’t believe she would have mistakenly signed up for recurring donations. But even if she had, why would the recurring donations change from $25 to $19? Why would the charges come on the same day or in the same month instead of monthly? . . .
Observer reporter Liz Crokin spoke to a Wells Fargo employee who works in the fraud department to figure out what was going on.
“We get up to a hundred calls a day from Hillary’s low-income supporters complaining about multiple unauthorized charges,” the employee, who asked to remain anonymous, told Crokin. The source added that they had not received any calls about the Trump campaign and donations.
The source said this has been going on since the spring, and that the campaign stops after it has taken a little less than $100 from a one-time donor.
“We don’t investigate fraudulent charges unless they are over $100,” the source said. “The Clinton campaign knows this, that’s why we don’t see any charges over the $100 amount, they’ll stop the charges just below $100. We’ll see her campaign overcharge donors by $20, $40 or $60 but never more than $100.” Continue reading
From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:
Despite efforts to figure whether they were in a Catholic or Protestant service, local parishioners were left baffled after an “animated” man wearing vestments put on a head mic and began pacing back and forth as he delivered his sermon.
“The man looked like a priest and I was quite certain I was in a Catholic Church,” said longtime parishioner Joyce Parlin who had no clue as to what the hell was going on. “But he kept pacing back and forth, ending each statement with a ‘can I get an amen?’ No one was exactly sure what he was asking for. I overheard one gentleman respond, ‘yes, I suppose,’ but the priest or pastor or whatever he was kept desperately asking if he could get more amens.”
Parlin went on to add that the priest or pastor or whatever the heck he was continually used words like “fellowship” and “ministry” during his sermon, words, Parlin admitted, she had never heard before.
“He also used the phrase ‘saved by the Blood of the Lamb,’ which I suppose is some sort of Christian take on the TV show ‘Saved by the Bell.’ Hell, I don’t know.”
At press time, the band has begun singing praise a worship as beach balls are being thrown to and fro, confirming that the event is a Life Teen Mass.
Something for the weekend. The Radetzky March. Written in 1848 by Johann Strauss Senior, the march celebrated Field Marshal Joseph Radetzky von Radetz, the bright light of the Austrian Army in the first half of the nineteenth century. Radetzky served seventy years in the Austrian Army and was winning battles into his eighties. A perhaps apocryphal story tells that the Austrian Emperor would frequently settle Radetzky’s debts. When some courtiers asked the Emperor why he did this, the Emperor shrugged and said it was cheaper than losing a war! The sprightly march has been a favorite in America and around the globe since its debut.
In 50 years of observing politics I have never seen a politician hand her adversary such a powerful weapon as Hillary Clinton did when she damned 20% of the American people as deplorables. In that one remark she summarized the leftist contempt for Americans who stubbornly refuse to submit to leftist shibboleths, and she poured gasoline on the anger of half our population who are sick of being treated as enemies in their own nation.
I’ll tell you what stands between us and the Greeks. Two thousand years of human suffering stands between us! Christ on His Cross stands between us!
Michelangelo, Agony and the Ecstasy (1965)
Popular historian Tom Holland, whose work I have admired, writes how his study of history led him back to Christianity:
By the time I came to read Edward Gibbon and the other great writers of the Enlightenment, I was more than ready to accept their interpretation of history: that the triumph of Christianity had ushered in an “age of superstition and credulity”, and that modernity was founded on the dusting down of long-forgotten classical values. My childhood instinct to think of the biblical God as the po-faced enemy of liberty and fun was rationalised. The defeat of paganism had ushered in the reign of Nobodaddy, and of all the crusaders, inquisitors and black-hatted puritans who had served as his acolytes. Colour and excitement had been drained from the world. “Thou hast conquered, O pale Galilean,” Swinburne wrote, echoing the apocryphal lament of Julian the Apostate, the last pagan emperor of Rome. “The world has grown grey from thy breath.” Instinctively, I agreed.
So, perhaps it was no surprise that I should have continued to cherish classical antiquity as the period that most stirred and inspired me. When I came to write my first work of history, Rubicon, I chose a subject that had been particularly close to the hearts of the philosophes: the age of Cicero. The theme of my second, Persian Fire, was one that even in the 21st century was serving Hollywood, as it had served Montaigne and Byron, as an archetype of the triumph of liberty over despotism: the Persian invasions of Greece.
The years I spent writing these studies of the classical world – living intimately in the company of Leonidas and of Julius Caesar, of the hoplites who had died at Thermopylae and of the legionaries who had triumphed at Alesia – only confirmed me in my fascination: for Sparta and Rome, even when subjected to the minutest historical inquiry, did not cease to seem possessed of the qualities of an apex predator. They continued to stalk my imaginings as they had always done – like a tyrannosaur.
Yet giant carnivores, however wondrous, are by their nature terrifying. The longer I spent immersed in the study of classical antiquity, the more alien and unsettling I came to find it. The values of Leonidas, whose people had practised a peculiarly murderous form of eugenics, and trained their young to kill uppity Untermenschen by night, were nothing that I recognised as my own; nor were those of Caesar, who was reported to have killed a million Gauls and enslaved a million more. It was not just the extremes of callousness that I came to find shocking, but the lack of a sense that the poor or the weak might have any intrinsic value. As such, the founding conviction of the Enlightenment – that it owed nothing to the faith into which most of its greatest figures had been born – increasingly came to seem to me unsustainable.
“Every sensible man,” Voltaire wrote, “every honourable man, must hold the Christian sect in horror.” Rather than acknowledge that his ethical principles might owe anything to Christianity, he preferred to derive them from a range of other sources – not just classical literature, but Chinese philosophy and his own powers of reason. Yet Voltaire, in his concern for the weak and oppressed, was marked more enduringly by the stamp of biblical ethics than he cared to admit. His defiance of the Christian God, in a paradox that was certainly not unique to him, drew on motivations that were, in part at least, recognisably Christian.
“We preach Christ crucified,” St Paul declared, “unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness.” He was right. Nothing could have run more counter to the most profoundly held assumptions of Paul’s contemporaries – Jews, or Greeks, or Romans. The notion that a god might have suffered torture and death on a cross was so shocking as to appear repulsive. Familiarity with the biblical narrative of the Crucifixion has dulled our sense of just how completely novel a deity Christ was. In the ancient world, it was the role of gods who laid claim to ruling the universe to uphold its order by inflicting punishment – not to suffer it themselves.
Today, even as belief in God fades across the West, the countries that were once collectively known as Christendom continue to bear the stamp of the two-millennia-old revolution that Christianity represents. It is the principal reason why, by and large, most of us who live in post-Christian societies still take for granted that it is nobler to suffer than to inflict suffering. It is why we generally assume that every human life is of equal value. In my morals and ethics, I have learned to accept that I am not Greek or Roman at all, but thoroughly and proudly Christian.
Go here to read the rest. As faithful readers of this blog know, I love history. The story of Man absolutely fascinates and enthralls me. Stephen Vincent Benet put it well in The Devil and Daniel Webster:
And he wasn’t pleading for any one person any more, though his voice rang like an organ. He was telling the story and the failures and the endless journey of mankind. They got tricked and trapped and bamboozled, but it was a great journey. And no demon that was ever foaled could know the inwardness of it—it took a man to do that.
In that grand story, amidst the great parade of human events, divinity enters in with Christ. His impact on history is beyond description. Atheist H.G. Wells summed it up:
“I am an historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.”
Some recent historians attempt to replace BC and AD with the ludicrous Before the Common Era, BCE, and Common Era, CE, attempting to ignore that the only reason we have a “Common Era” is because of Christ. Christ is the dividing point of history, and only fools deny it.
The Pope has agreed to serve as a mediator between the Venezuelan regime and the opposition:
The Vatican responded to a letter requesting his help from the secretary-general of UNASUR, Ernesto Samper, and former presidents Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero of Spain, Martin Torrijos of Panama and Leonel Fernandez of the Dominican Republic.
The Vatican’s response, published on Wednesday, says the pope hopes the Venezuelan people can begin a dialogue in an atmosphere of mutual trust and that, “Those who are directly involved in the destiny of the country, by overpassing rivalries and political hostility, can recognize each other as brothers.”
It’s not yet known when any talks will take place. The Venezuelan opposition had asked for such mediation as part of a series of requests sent July 7 to the government of Nicolas Maduro.
The Vatican’s letter states that the mediation of the pope is subject to both the government and the opposition requesting it directly “once they have made a firm decision to formally initiate dialogue.”
Go here to read the rest. If mediation does occur PopeWatch hopes that the Pope takes to heart this letter of the Venezuelan Bishops:
Pastoral exhortation ethical and spiritual renewal tackle the crisis
ETHICS AND SPIRITUAL RENEWAL IN THE CRISIS
1. With deep and renewed hope in God, at the beginning of this year 2015 the Bishops of Venezuela salute all Venezuelans, and lift our prayers to God for the welfare and peace of the country. In the midst of the problems that beset us, we have seen in Christmas light of Jesus, our Divine Savior (Luke 2: 9), who encourages us to go forward, faithful to his word, to build a better world. Trusting again we share with our people some concerns about the current situation, to help resolve the crisis we face.
IN THE MIDST OF A GENERAL CRISIS
2. The first part of 2014 was marked by strong political and social upheaval. At this time the bishops strongly express our rejection of all violence, whatever its origin and authors, as she was a balance of 43 dead and many injured, which we deplore without distinction of social or political groups; denounce the excessive use of force in the suppression of protests and the detention of thousands of people, many of them still in prison or subject to filing criminal courts or other restrictive measures of liberty; and we express our condolences and solidarity with the victims and their families. There are numerous reports of human rights violations including torture of detainees, which must be addressed and punished the perpetrators of these crimes.
3. That grave crisis raised the need for dialogue between government leaders, opposition and other sectors. Thanks, among other things, called the Pope Francis and participation of the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop. Aldo Giordano, he began a dialogue which unfortunately was not the first meetings.
4. This situation has been joined in recent months generalized anxiety of the people by the economic crisis that we suffer, as is subjected unseen difficulties to access basic necessities. A huge external debt, which jeopardizes the future of Venezuelans, the unbridled inflation, devaluation of our currency, smuggling mining and commodity shortages have led to the increasing impoverishment of large sectors of the population, particularly those with fewer resources economic. This crisis is compounded by administrative corruption, centralism, looting the treasury currency, the recent decline in oil prices, and the ineffectiveness of the measures and plans being implemented by the Government to address it.
5. We also have a situation of worsening social violence. Offensive language, the systematic exclusion to any contrary opinion, incite fanaticism and irrationality. The crisis of public insecurity is intolerable. Unfortunately the efforts and programs developed by the government to control this scourge have failed. To this add serious problems in the health field, such as viral epidemics unaddressed efficiently, lack of medicines, medical supplies and equipment throughout the country. Moreover, the death of over forty inmates in the prison of Uribana reveals a tragic situation in our prison system should be reformed completely.
A WRONG WAY
6. The greatest problem and the cause of the general crisis, as we have noted elsewhere, it is the decision of the national government and other public bodies to impose a political–economic system of socialist Marxist or communist. This system is totalitarian and centralist, establishes state control over all aspects of life of citizens and public and private institutions. Also threaten freedom and rights of individuals and associations and has led to oppression and ruin to all countries that have applied.
The worst lesson that can be taught a man is to rely upon others and to whine over his sufferings.
Theodore Roosevelt, January 1897
It is interesting how much that passes for liberalism these days is merely dressed up snobbishness where people with lots of money can look down their noses at people they deem “poor white trash”. It is no accident, as Marxists used to say, that Hillary made her condemnation of 20% of the American people at a fundraising event to the cheers and laughter of the Hollywood glitterati and assorted fat cats. Poor whites are one of the few safe groups to hate, and what is the point of having a great deal of money unless one can feel free to dump vials of loathing on those near the bottom of the economic ladder?
Daniel Henninger at The Wall Street Journal gets this aspect of our politics, an aspect rarely spoken of, but blindingly obvious:
As with the irrepressible email server, Mrs. Clinton’s handling of her infirmity—”I feel great,” the pneumonia-infected candidate said while hugging a little girl—deepened the hole of distrust she lives in. At the same time, her dismissal, at Barbra Streisand’s LGBT fundraiser, of uncounted millions of Americans as deplorables had the ring of genuine belief.
Perhaps sensing that public knowledge of what she really thinks could be a political liability, Mrs. Clinton went on to describe “people who feel that the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them . . . and they’re just desperate for change.”
She is of course describing the people in Charles Murray’s recent and compelling book on cultural disintegration among the working class, “Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010.” This is indeed the bedrock of the broader Trump base.
Mrs. Clinton is right that they feel the system has let them down. There is a legitimate argument over exactly when the rising digital economy started transferring income away from blue-collar workers and toward the “creative class” of Google and Facebook employees, no few of whom are smug progressives who think the landmass seen from business class between San Francisco and New York is pocked with deplorable, phobic Americans. Naturally, they’ll vote for the status quo, which is Hillary.
But in the eight years available to Barack Obama to do something about what rankles the lower-middle class—white, black or brown—the non-employed and underemployed grew. A lot of them will vote for Donald Trump because they want a radical mid-course correction. Which Mrs. Clinton isn’t and never will be.
This is not the Democratic Party of Bill Clinton. The progressive Democrats, a wholly public-sector party, have disconnected from the realities of the private economy, which exists as a mysterious revenue-producing abstraction. Hillary’s comments suggest they now see much of the population has a cultural and social abstraction.
To repeat: “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic.”
Those are all potent words. Or once were. The racism of the Jim Crow era was ugly, physically cruel and murderous. Today, progressives output these words as reflexively as a burp. What’s more, the left enjoys calling people Islamophobic or homophobic. It’s bullying without personal risk.
Donald Trump’s appeal, in part, is that he cracks back at progressive cultural condescension in utterly crude terms. Nativists exist, and the sky is still blue. But the overwhelming majority of these people aren’t phobic about a modernizing America. They’re fed up with the relentless, moral superciliousness of Hillary, the Obamas, progressive pundits and 19-year-old campus activists.
Evangelicals at last week’s Values Voter Summit said they’d look past Mr. Trump’s personal résumé. This is the reason. It’s not about him.
The moral clarity that drove the original civil-rights movement or the women’s movement has degenerated into a confused moral narcissism. One wonders if even some of the people in Mrs. Clinton’s Streisandian audience didn’t feel discomfort at the ease with which the presidential candidate slapped isms and phobias on so many people. Continue reading